SR 520 Pontoons On the Way

picture courtesy of WSDOT

520 bridge pontoon floating at the Aberdeen casting basin on Sunday.

WSDOT has shared photos and video of pontoons floating out from Aberdeen early Monday.

This second cycle of pontoons was cast in Aberdeen for the new 520 floating bridge.

The float-out process began Sunday afternoon, when crews opened small gates on the casting basin walls so water could begin entering the basin.

The pontoons will remain at the Port of Grays Harbor for inspections and will then be moored until needed for construction on Lake Washington.

Kiewit-General crews built the casting basin and will build 33 total bridge pontoons in Aberdeen as part of a $367.3 million design-build contract.

An additional 44 pontoons will be built in Tacoma under a separate contract. The floating bridge contract requires the new, six-lane SR 520 floating bridge to open to traffic by July 2015.

WSDOT is in negotiations with its contractors for pontoon issues encountered in spring 2012 and has not made an official determination on any potential schedule effects.

Project information is available here.

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New Fuel Standards Helping Region’s Greenhouse Gas Strategy

cover of Transportation 2040 planTransportation 2040 was one of the first regional transportation plans in the country to include a strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

One part of the strategy was to support development of technology to dramatically reduce tailpipe emissions. Technology like more electric cars, improved fuel economy, and cleaner fuels.

Thanks to federal action last summer, new federal fuel efficiency standards will nearly double fuel economy by 2025 to 54.5 miles per gallon.

That exceeds the most aggressive scenario anticipated in Transportation 2040 when it was adopted in 2010, which is great news.  This table shows what is in the plan:


This shows the likely and aggressive scenarios for reducing tailpipe emissions, included in Transportation 2040.

There has been other progress too, via investments in electric vehicles and infrastructure, the renewable fuel standard program, and new emissions and  fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy duty vehicles.

Check out this presentation for more information on the greenhouse gas strategy and the update to Transportation 2040.

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Pat McCarthy Elected President of the PSRC


Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy has been elected President of the PSRC.

McCarthy, serving her second term as County Executive, was elected on Thursday, April 25, during the PSRC’s annual General Assembly.

Redmond Mayor John Marchione was elected Vice President.

“The PSRC plays a vital role in knitting all of the communities of central Puget Sound together and planning for our future,” McCarthy said.

“Over the next year we’ll be focused on improvements to our transportation system, boosting job growth, and ensuring the region continues to grow in ways that reflect our shared Northwest values.”

McCarthy succeeds Kitsap County Commissioner Josh Brown as President of the PSRC.

In addition to selecting officers, the General Assembly adopted PSRC’s budget and work program for the next two years.

The work program includes an update to the region’s long range transportation plan, producing new data to monitor the region’s performance toward the goals in the VISION 2040 growth strategy, and selecting projects for federal transportation funding.

Also this year, PSRC’s Executive Board also will select a new Executive Director because of the retirement of Bob Drewel, who has led the agency since 2004.

The region’s General Assembly includes elected representation from all the members of the PSRC, including King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties, as well as more than 80 cities, towns, state agencies, transit agencies, ports, and Tribal Governments. The Assembly meets at least annually to adopt the agency’s budget and elect leadership. Typically, the President of the PSRC serves for two years.

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VISION 2040 Award Winners Strengthen Community

YWCA Family Village in Issaquah

YWCA Family Village in Issaquah is a VISION 2040 Award winner.

A community center in Kingston and a program offering academic and housing help for homeless children in Tacoma are among the winners of the 2013 VISION 2040 Awards.

The awards will be presented at the PSRC’s General Assembly dinner on Thursday, April 25.

The VISION 2040 Awards celebrate efforts that are helping to create a thriving central Puget sound region.

The six winners are:

Jackson Hydroelectric Project Enhancements in the Sultan Basin, which resulted in the facility receiving certification by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute. The project included improved trails, habitat protection, major improvements to fisheries, and increased water quality monitoring.

Redmond’s Digital Planning and Development Suite includes three planning tools that help residents track projects in their neighborhood, engage with the city, and plan their business endeavors.

McCarver Special Housing Program provides stable housing and case management services with the goal of improving academic performance while addressing child homelessness in Tacoma.

Linden Avenue North Complete Street

The Linden Avenue North Complete Street includes new sidewalks,benches, street trees, better lighting, and safer crosswalks.

Seattle’s Linden Ave North Complete Street Project is a redeveloped roadway with improved pedestrian safety and storm water drainage. Innovations include art that celebrates the neighborhood’s history, a cycle track, and completion of a missing Interurban Trail link.

Kingston Village Green is a new community center in downtown Kingston that will include a new library, a Boys and Girls Club, health services, a senior center, commercial kitchens, public meeting rooms, recreational facilities, affordable senior housing, and a space for cultural events.

YWCA Family Village Issaquah is a 2.4-acre campus that integrates affordable housing and services into an economically healthy suburban community well served by transit.

See what else is on the General Assembly’s agenda.



Transportation 2040 Workshop on May 7

cover of Transportation 2040 planAnyone interested in learning more about the region’s transportation plan is invited to attend the Transportation 2040 101 workshop on Tuesday, May 7, 10 a.m. to 12 noon, in the PSRC board room.

Transportation 2040 is being updated now.  The workshop will describe what is in the current plan, what has changed since Transportation 2040 was adopted in 2010, and how the update will address these changes.

Register via email.

If you have questions about the workshop or Transportation 2040, please contact Robin Mayhew at 206-464-7537 or


Celebrating Smart Commuters

Bob Drewel, PSRC's executive director, at the Smart Commuter Awards in Lynnwood.

Bob Drewel, PSRC’s executive director, at the Smart Commuter Awards in Lynnwood.

PSRC Executive Director Bob Drewel helped celebrate Community Transit’s 15th Annual Smart Commuter Award winners.

He praised efforts by businesses to reduce drive-alone trips to their workplaces and urged increased support for transit services.

Community Transit blogged about the event and prospects for a statewide transportation package that would include options for increased transit funding.

The Smart Commuter Awards honor the top businesses the top businesses and employee commuters in Snohomish County.

Puget Sound Energy Bothell was named Employer of the Year award for helping to reduce single-occupant trips to its workplace. Steven McAdams was honored as Smart Commuter of the Year.


General Assembly Coming Up Next Week

PSRC's General Assembly will be on April 25.

PSRC’s General Assembly will be on April 25.

Regional leaders will gather for PSRC”s annual General Assembly business meeting and dinner on Thursday, April 25, at the Arctic Hotel Dome Room.

On the agenda:  adopting a new two-year budget and electing PSRC’s president and vice president.

The business meeting will be followed by a reception and the VISION 2040 Awards dinner.

The VISION 2040 Awards recognize great work by public and private organizations to help the region grow wisely and sustain a great quality of life.  Check out past award winners.